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The New York Times December 15, 1916


Magistrate Simms Says Lack of
Liquor Turns Men to Substitute.

The spread of prohibition has increased the use of habit-forming drugs, according to Magistrate Simms. He had before him in Yorkville Court yesterday John Smith 24 years old, who wanted to be sent to the hospital to be cured of the use of heroin. Smith said he contracted the habit while traveling with a theatrical troupe, and had obtained his supply from some of the actors.

Oh you mean the fellows who travel around a great deal, and into "dry territory," said the Magistrate. "This is another bit of information which seems to show the relationship between the spread of prohibition and habit-forming drugs. When the confirmed alcoholic cannot get what he wants, he finds a substitute which can be easily carried around. Then he boasts of the merits of the substitute to persons easily influenced by the boasting."

Five persons have, within four days, asked Magistrate Simms to be cured of the drug habit. A young man told the Magistrate that he could purchase all the drugs he wanted from a Harlem physician at $2 a prescription, and that, if he wanted to be cured of the habit, the same physician would take him into his sanitarium and cure him for $100. The name of the physician was given to the Magistrate.

The Legislative Committee which has been investigating the drug evil and of which Senator Whitney is Chairman, at the request of Dr. Jackson R. Campbell, visited Harlem Prison yesterday morning. Members of the committee talked with half a dozen men who were either awaiting examination or trial.